highlights, SEQ

Subject: highlights, SEQ
From: Judith Lukin-Amundsen <>
Date: Fri, 11 Jun 2004 10:13:36 +1000
4->6 June 2004 - winter
Brisbane/Clayfield -> Bellthorpe -> Neurum -> Dayboro

Well, there wasn't a LOT to report from our Mt Mee/Ocean View home this weekend - perhaps the few sightings will go into my next note from there - but I did have an exciting time travelling to and from the mountain this past week.
        For the first time ever I saw, here in Clayfield (Brisbane inner-northern suburb), a single Pale-headed Rosella. These lovely parrots are our familiars on the mountain, but somehow, because of their natural shy-wildness (compared to the Rainbow Lorikeets that do visit), I had not expected to see them so close to the office among all these blocks of flats and dense housing (by Q standards)! Here the Torresian Crows are the main fascination, and the varying voices of the Figbirds are the predominant chatter. Nevertheless, occasionally, rounding the corner of the building as I did the other day, there will be a White Ibis stalking hurriedly away across the little patch of lawn.
        So, anyway, I headed off up to Bellthorpe (2,000 feet, near Maleny) - what a beautiful spot this is - for Ian Gynther's MOST EXCELLENT workshop on the Coxen's Fig-parrot. I feel that I have at least some idea now about how to look for them...
        Then, on the way back, down on the lowlands (around Neurum), came the highlight of the week. Whizzing along the road, I passed yet another ordinary small dam in a cattle paddock, very near the house and the family there droning around on a 'leisure vehicle' - and suddenly had to screech to a halt and back up: that ordinary dam was covered with birds!
        In a cruel late-afternoon wind and hunched down into a folding chair, this is what I saw - in the order that I identified them on (or beside) the dam, were:- Wandering Whistling Duck x ?80, Pacific Black Duck, Australasian Shoveller (a pair among the PBalck Ducks, the male in breeding plumage), Purple Swamphen, Dusky Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Cattle Egret (among the cattle), Little Pied Cormorant (one, perched in the tree above), Jacana x3 (lily-trotting), Australasian Grebe (one seen, in breeding plumage), Masked Lapwing x2 (screaming, as usual), Scaly-breasted Lorikeets, Willie Wagtail, Magpie-lark, Maned/Wood Duck, Plumed Whistling Duck x ?20.
        What a treat those Whistling Ducks were! - and each group (I later discovered in reading) behaving exactly as supposed.
        Then, as I sat there with the binoculars glued on, a strange two- or three-note wailing that I felt I'd never heard before made my head snap around-- Only soon enough to see with the naked eye: two cockatoos about the size of corellas or slightly larger passing low overhead, whitish, with their underside thoroughly splotched pink. No time for the binoculars before they disappeared behind some nearby trees. What these were I do not know.
        Next day, at the southern foot of the range near Dayboro, over a farm paddock near a house, there seemed to be a small kite hovering. Closer-to, though, this proved amazingly to be a Black-faced Cuckoo-shrike - in perfect hover (and hover-swoop-hover)!
        That night I finished reading 'Redtails in Love, A wildlife drama in Central Park' (New York), which conveys something of the thrill of seeing truly wild creatures in the urban environment; and so has reminded me of the Kedron Brook Wetlands here, which, though terribly 'exposed' and immediately bordered by several freeways/motorways and right beside the airport, yet is home to many wild creatures, including the Grass Owl... In odd complement to this book was reading Joseph Banks' Endeavour Journal - a naturally rather sketchy view of the very edges of wilderness., I'm off this afternoon to see the Little Corellas - which Roy Sonnenburg reported just down the road in Shaw Park 'systematically digging up the hockey fields for some sort of grass root' - and his Long-billeds, Sulphur-crested Cockies, Galahs, and 'the local Galella', if they are still there. Thanks, Roy. I was there one night this week, and a night the previous week, but did not have the luck to see the ?White-throated Nightjar (was it?) hawking in the lights.
        Meanwhile, as I type this, two of the Torresian Crows have arrived at their favourite spot for dunking bread - the neighbouring gutter directly outside my window, which at its corner always seems to hold water - just right for drinking or dunking, and a little caching can be done a bit further along in dry weather. Great!

S-E Qld
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • highlights, SEQ, Judith Lukin-Amundsen <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU